Melba Moore: Diva Overcomes Defeat
by Greg May
(Graphics by Debbie Smith)
Greg May and the Diva In Orlando Florida
If ever there was a celebrity that epitomizes the showbiz term 'comeback' it's MELBA MOORE.
The Grammy-nominated singer and Tony Award-winning actress made her triumphant comeback in 1996 in the Broadway show, 'Les Miserables' after a financial and emotional crisis that followed a successful career that included 32 hit singles on the R & B charts.
Although most people know her for her recording career, Melba Moore scored success on the Broadway stage in 'Purlie' and 'Timbuktu' starring Eartha Kitt.
It was just before she hit hard times that I met and interviewed the singer while she was on tour promoting her new album back in the 'disco days' of the early 80's. I had already interviewed GLORIA 'I Will Survive' GAYNOR - the Original Queen of Disco - and the late KAREN 'Hot Shot' YOUNG for my TV show, 'Central Florida Spotlight' and Melba's interview rounded out my special on 'disco divas' in downtown Orlando, Florida.
If you ever wondered if stars make fun of each other, when I mentioned to Melba I had gotten slapped by GRACE JONES she mimicked a runway catwalk and laughed, "Grace was a model!"
I remembered when Melba Moore and Clifton Davis had their own musical/variety show on CBS during the summer of 1972. It was a summer replacement series.
The singer returned to television in 1986 - five years before she found herself applying for welfare and food stamps due to a devastating divorce and career mismanagement. Her friends deserted her and her daughter turned her back on her and went to live with Bill Cosby's family.
Her sitcom, 'Melba', premiered on CBS January 28, 1986 -the same day of the ill-fated launch of the space shuttle Challenger. The ratings were so low CBS cancelled the show immediately. Later that summer CBS decided to broadcast the episodes they had commissioned but the show produced the lowest ratings in that network's prime-time history.
Just as life imitates art, Melba Moore sang the blues and lived them.
In her hit single, 'I Will Survive', Gloria Gaynor sings of her strength and determination to overcome and asks ' . . should I lay down and die?'
So when Melba Moore was asked by a curious press of her motivation following her triumphant return to the stage, she replied she could either lay down and die or start over.
She chose to start over.
Today the diva that didn't accept defeat is busy touring with her one-woman show and recording again.
She is a celebrity that inspires as well as entertains.
Click here to post comments.
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How?
Simply click here to return to Famous People.